Dr Edward Addo, the Dean of Business School, Zenith University College, says Ghana needs to seriously invest in the tourism sector, which is considered a vehicle for socio-economic growth and development.
Speaking on: “The Whats and Hows of Tourism Marketing: What do you know?” at the Fourth CIM Professional Marketing Development series organised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), he said the main problem with development of tourism was the low investment in building infrastructure for the industry.
He said the low standards in the sector’s human resources and the over dependence on international tourists were major problems.
He said: “This posed a significant problem as a more domesticated tourism industry would help to develop the sector”.
Dr Addo, however, said although the tourism sectors of cities like Dubai and countries like Canada, America and Kenya had advanced far ahead of Ghana, the country had all the resources necessary to create wealth through tourism.
Touching on Tourism Marketing, Dr Addo said the most important thing to consider in the area was how to position the product in the minds of the targeted audience as tourism products were intangible and had to be enjoyed by the tourist where it was.
“Unlike other products, the tourism product could not be brought to the consumer; the consumer has to go to it.
“You have to determine how best to position your property in the eyes of your target group to help them see your property the way you want them to,” he said.
He also urged marketing students and other practitioners to take into consideration the uniqueness of tourism products when devising their marketing strategies.
Dr Addo encouraged the development of cultural tourism to showcase Ghana’s culture and urged participants to explore other areas of tourism such as ‘Dark Tourism’ which focused on places where disasters and other tragic events occurred, as well as heritage tourism.
Mr Sammy Bonsu, the Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, who chaired the workshop, said Ghanaians should pay attention to the marketing dimensions of tourism since it remained a problem.
He said Ghana needed to think about what exactly it was that the country represented that marketers could sell, citing an example of the Bahamas which referred to itself as the place where God lived, adding that; “Ghana has no reason to be poor because we have more resources than other countries.”
The President of CIM, Mr George Eric Gyamfi-Osew, commended the students for their enthusiasm towards programmes concerning national development.
He said the institute had chosen tourism as the focus for the workshop because it believed that Ghana could benefit greatly from that sector.
Participants at the workshop included students from Zenith University College, Koforidua Polytechnic, Regent University, the University of Professional Studies and the Pentecost University.
The CIM in Ghana is focusing on forging strategic partnership with key private and public organisations to accept and give due recognition to holders of CIM qualification.